Day 2 of lock down in India, and thankfully things haven't become a lot worse here. We have still not hit the 1000 mark in number of COVID-19 cases. Though situation in the US and Spain has become a lot worse, which is terrifying.
Today I was reading this post by hedge fund manager Ray Dalio. He talks about how he reads history to understand what the world is going through. Since his job is based on having a more accurate model of the world, of course it makes sense for him to do so.
But doesn't it more or less apply to all of us? Especially those who are running their own ventures. We are always trying to predict what the world is gonna be 1-2 years down the line and build product for that future. Ray Dalio says that the best way to learn what is going to happen in future is to try to find similar patterns in the past. History never repeats, but it rhymes. The details are different but the broader patterns are similar.
So, if you are struggling with a challenging business problem or struggling to understand how to position your product in a competitive space - study history. How has this been done in the past. Surely it will give you some guidelines or frameworks to think about it.
As Dalio says, there are many things which we may be experiencing first time in our lives. But they are not happening for the first time in the world. Don't be an ant and react to what is happening. Take a seat back, try to study if something similar happened in the past - and try to form a model on how the future may pan out.
But this is not a one time thing. Don't assume that the first model you build will be perfect. You need to keep updating the model if there are any surprises. But having a model is a good point to start with.
PS: Dalio has some amazing resources at his two sites: https://www.principles.com/ and https://economicprinciples.org/. He also publishes detailed reports about his studies. Like this. If you are trying to better understand the world and predict the future - I am sure you will like these.